Sexual harassment is a problem that has had consequences that have been around since men and women walked the Earth. In the beginning it was considered that it was not really important to people, because women were not seen as people but as objects. As time grew on and the thoughts of men changed society began to believe that women were in fact people and not just objects, so they deserved to be treated the same as men. Men then began to treat women like another one of the guys. Time progressed more where it began to be looked upon disapprovingly and called for a better treatment and standard in the work place. In came the creation of sexual harassment policies.
Sexual harassment is described as being harassed in the workplace or other professional social situations. This includes the unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks, aka, a dirty joke. The most common example of sexual harassment is of a woman being harassed by a man, where a man will comment about appearance or use sexual innuendo.
There are many consequences that can occur when a man or woman is accused of sexual harassment Loss of a job is one of the most common. Anyone would expect that if it was found out someone was causing turmoil in the work place that they would be fired. Another consequence could include loss of wages or other benefits. Higher wages and promotion to a higher position can all be lost when a person is caught in a sexual harassment scandal. The chances may be good that if they are caught sexually harassing someone then they may look forward to a cut in their wages, be demoted to a lower job and may never be able to move up in the job world, even if that person had been there for years.
Forced job reassignment is anther consequence that can be used to penalize a person caught sexually harassing others. A person caught in sexual harassment can be forced to leave an area that they understand quite well and forced to learn something new in a different part of the company, on account of the fact that a complaint has been filed against them. This could affect many aspects related to the job position, including a decrease in pay or reducing the ability to advance any further.
People often forget that there are consequences for the victims of the sexual harassment as well. One of the most common is constructive discharge. In this instance the employee suffering through sexual harassment quits due to how severe the sexual harassment is. If the harassment is so bad that it causes the employee to quit justifiably, it is considered to be an illegal way to fire someone.
If a person is forced out because they file a complaint they should be aware that there are penalties for retaliation. There are laws that protect people who are fired for reporting the abuse or stopping it. In some cases the person suffers personal injuries, where the worker suffers personal turmoil such as physical and emotional problems.
Women are the ones who seemed to deal with this the most in the past. As time goes on and women get into positions of power, more and more men will suffer sexual harassment themselves. It happens today as it is. It is not as common for men to report it. People could ask why this is. Only in speculation, it could be because men are too proud to admit to it happening to them, or the men are scared to see what will come out of it.
Sexual Harassment has always been a problem and always had its consequences. Chances are it will never go away. It is up to the companies to create a policy that will protect their co-workers from this crime.
By Nathan Sullivan